Tag: 4.5 Reviews

Retro Review: Just the Sexiest Man Alive by Julie James.

Posted January 18, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 18 Comments

Retro Review: Just the Sexiest Man Alive by Julie James.Reviewer: Rowena
Just the Sexiest Man Alive by Julie James

Publication Date: January 1st 1970
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 296
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars

No woman could resist him—except the one he wanted most...
Cool, Calm, Collected...

Nothing fazes Taylor Donovan. In the courtroom she never lets the opposition see her sweat. In her personal life, she never lets any man rattle her—not even her cheating ex-fiancé. So when she's assigned to coach People's "Sexiest Man Alive" for his role in his next big legal thriller, she refuses to fall for the Hollywood heartthrob's charms. Even if he is the Jason Andrews.

Confident, Famous, Irresistible...

Jason Andrews is used to having women fall at his feet. When Taylor Donovan gives him the cold shoulder, he's thrown for a loop. She's unlike any other woman he's ever met: uninterested in the limelight, seemingly immune to his advances, and shockingly capable of saying no to him. She's the perfect challenge. And the more she rejects him, the more he begins to realize she may just be his perfect match.

******As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.

This week, we’re featuring the review of the book that started my love of all things Julie James. Just the Sexiest Man Alive completely rocked my socks the first (and every) time that I read it and I thought it was super cool that Julie James came and commented on my review. If you haven’t read this book, you should. It’s great.*****

This review was originally posted on October 17, 2008
I’m a sucker for those flirty heroes that are cocky and arrogant. You know, the kind of heroes that are bewildered when the heroine’s don’t fall into a puddle of lust at the sight of them. I love seeing them humbled. I loved seeing them so full of themselves in the beginning and then watching as they slowly come to realize that they’re not as great as they think they are. I love seeing them come full circle and wooing their heroines into loving them anyway.

This book was great. It was a fast and funny read and I’m seriously wanting to read another Julie James book. It took me no time at all to read this book and I was sad to finish the story and say goodbye to the characters. They became real to me and I enjoyed getting to know them.

This book is about Jason Andrews and Taylor Donovan. Jason is this big hot shot celebrity actor, think Brad Pitt, a Multiple People’s Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive and he pretty much got everything that he ever wanted. Women dropped their panties for him at the snap of a finger and people jumped to do his bidding every time he so much as glanced at them. He had that kind of power over people, the celebrity kind of power and he was so used to it that he didn’t bother to think about what other people thought, it simply was and he enjoyed the power he had over people.

Taylor Donovan, on the other hand is a rising star in the law world. She was one of the top lawyers from her firm and she was sent to L.A. from Chicago to help with a big sexual harassment case and she takes her job very seriously. Even if she’s forced to take a job she doesn’t want, no matter who the job is for.

She doesn’t give two flits about Jason Andrews and even though she thinks he’s insanely attractive, she doesn’t see what the big deal about him is, she vows to treat him as anyone else. She was going to treat him like she treats all of her other clients, only he stands her up at their first appointment and then stands her up again for their second appointment. She had cleared her schedule for him and he didn’t even have the decency to call her and let her know he couldn’t make it. He just left her hanging and so she did what any other woman would do.

She got good and pissed. She was so livid with him that when he finally did decide to come in and see her, she didn’t care who the hell he was or anything, she was too busy for him.

That first meeting between Jason and Taylor was the best frickin’ meeting ever. I thought it was hilarious and I loved the way that Taylor handled it. She totally had me crackin’ up and then grinning like a fool, she was frickin’ awesome. The way that she kept putting him in his place always had me laughing my ass off.

The characters were great, the dialogue was easy to follow along with and the plot all made for a really fast and a really fun read. I really enjoyed reading this book, I would really recommend this book to those of you who are looking for a light and entertaining read. This book delivers the laughs, the emotions and a romance that had you cheering the main characters on.

Jason was hawt stuff and I seriously fell in love with him even through each and every one of his boneheaded moves. All of the plans that he came up with to win Taylor over made me want to beat him over the head with something sharp but I never stopped loving the heck out of him. He was such a normal and good guy that with each page that I turned, I fell a little more in love with him until my heart was near to bursting with him. I really enjoyed his character and I really enjoyed his friendship with Jeremy. I hope Jeremy gets his own book, Jeremy seriously rocked my socks!

Taylor was another fantastic character. I don’t really care much for heroines as much as I’m always focused on the heroes and how hot stuff they are but this heroine was strong and she was confident and yet still a little vulnerable. She was everything that I wish I was and she made me want to be a lawyer again. She made practicing the law and researching every little detail of her cases seem so cool and the way that she would not let Jason get away with anything made me love her all the more. She was memorable, not a lot of heroines are like that for me but Taylor was. I’ll remember who she is and I’ll remember how funny, confident and smart she was and I’ll want to read her book again because she was great.

This book is a good one, it’s not a pull your heart strings kind of book but it’s enjoyable anyway. It’s a solid read and I’m so glad that I read it. You guys should definitely put this on your list of books to buy soon and read because I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as well.

This book is available from Berkley Sensation. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

four-half-stars

Guest Review: Hard Hitter by Sarina Bowen

Posted January 3, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Hard Hitter by Sarina BowenReviewer: Tracy
Hard Hitter by Sarina Bowen
Series: Brooklyn Bruisers #2
Also in this series: Rookie Move, Rookie Move, Rookie Move, Hard Hitter (Brooklyn Bruisers #2), Pipe Dreams, Pipe Dreams
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: January 3rd 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
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four-half-stars

He s a fighter in the rink, but he s about to learn that playing nice can help you score...

As team captain and enforcer, Patrick O'Doul puts the bruise in the Brooklyn Bruisers. But after years of hard hits, O'Doul is feeling the burn, both physically and mentally. He conceals his pain from his coach and trainers, but when his chronic hip injury becomes too obvious to ignore, they send him for sessions with the team s massage therapist.

After breaking up with her long-term boyfriend, Ari Bettini is in need of peace of mind. For now, she s decided to focus on her work: rehabilitating the Bruisers MVP. O'Doul is easy on the eyes, but his reaction to her touch is ice cold. Ari is determined to help O'Doul heal, but as the tension between them turns red hot, they both learn that a little TLC does the body good..."

Patrick O’Doul is the enforcer of the Brooklyn Bruisers hockey team.  He’s been playing for them for the past 10 years and he’d good at what he does.  He is afraid, however, of being thought to be incapable of doing his job because of injury or his age.  When he gets a hip flexor injury the trainers want him to see the team massage therapist but he hates being touched so he puts that off until they force him into it.  ‘

Ari is the team massage therapist and yoga instructor.  She loves her job and all the guys seem to love their massages so she can’t understand why Patrick has such an aversion to his appointments.  She has an inkling that he hates being touched but it’s not confirmed until she gets him on her table.  They have a rapport and Patrick seems to start to actually enjoy his time on Ari’s table.  He certainly likes her hands on him.

Patrick would love for there to be a relationship between him and Ari but her ex-boyfriend is a complete douche and treated her badly the last few years of their relationship.  She’s never been on her own and she thinks she needs to try it rather than jump into a relationship with Patrick.  Of course her head says one thing and her heart says another.

This was another great book by Sarina Bowen.  I love her books and look forward to opening one and getting involved in the characters lives.  After reading book one in the Brooklyn Bruisers series I was really looking forward to this one and I wasn’t disappointed.

Patrick was a really great guy.  Had he made some stupid mistakes that got him into trouble? Yes, but it didn’t make him a bad person. He was so good for Ari and she was so good for him I loved seeing the two together as they played off of each other so well.  They were also hotter than hell in bed which is always a plus (for them and the reader :)).

The story line that had to do with Ari’s ex was well done in my opinion.  It brought just enough tension to the story and to Ari and Patrick’s relationship but it didn’t go too far.  I also loved Patrick’s fellow hockey players. Their camaraderie and support of each other really brought a great feel to the book – more of a hockey family.  There was once scene when Patrick asks for team’s advice for romantic gestures – I about spit out my coffee I was laughing so hard when the suggestions were read.  The players as well as the suggestions were hilarious and I loved the friendship they shared.  Even if they weren’t all great friends at least they respected each other a great deal and that was awesome.

The love story is wonderful – Patrick’s quiet alpha maleness with Ari’s bouncy, out-going personality made for great reading.  This is a fabulous book and one I definitely recommend that you not miss.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

four-half-stars

Guest Review: House of Echoes by Brendan Duffy

Posted November 30, 2016 by Tina R in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: House of Echoes by Brendan DuffyReviewer: Tina
House of Echoes by Brendan Duffy
Published by Ballantine Books
Publication Date: April 14th 2015
Genres: Horror, Mystery, Suspense
Pages: 384
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four-half-stars

In this enthralling and atmospheric thriller, one young family’s dream of a better life is about to become a nightmare.

Ben and Caroline Tierney and their two young boys are hoping to start over. Ben has hit a dead end with his new novel, Caroline has lost her banking job, and eight-year-old Charlie is being bullied at his Manhattan school.

When Ben inherits land in the village of Swannhaven, in a remote corner of upstate New York, the Tierneys believe it’s just the break they need, and they leave behind all they know to restore a sprawling estate. But as Ben uncovers Swannhaven’s chilling secrets and Charlie ventures deeper into the surrounding forest, strange things begin to happen. The Tierneys realize that their new home isn’t the fresh start they needed . . . and that the village’s haunting saga is far from over.

House of Echoes is a novel that shows how sometimes the ties that bind us are the only things that can keep us whole.

There is no way that House of Echoes by Brendan Duffy can be a debut book! I had to get that out of the way from the gate! This book is so well-written and is bursting with a dark & creepy, tension-filled vibe that causes the reader to assume that the author has been writing forever.

The setting for this book is right out of a Gothic horror story. It has all the elements that you can expect will scare the crap out of you! When I first read the summary about the troubled family with the dilapidated old mansion in the middle of nowhere I immediately said “Sign me up!!” This book is exactly what a reader like me searches for!

Mr Duffy knows exactly what it takes to keep us reading. He has that powerful skill of building the suspense and keeping the reader on the edge of our seat. The characters are so realistic that I almost felt like I was spying on an unsuspecting neighbor as I was reading! This is a truly unsettling story and I think any person who loves a good thriller will devour this one!

I would like to thank the author for this incredible book, and also NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to review it. I have actually bought 2 copies of this book since reviewing it and have given them as gifts. And as any fellow reader knows, this is the biggest compliment you can give to an author. Grab House of Echoes today. It is a perfect read for a a cold and gloomy Autumn day!

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

four-half-stars

Guest Review: The Sound of Glass by Karen White

Posted November 9, 2016 by Tina R in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: The Sound of Glass by Karen WhiteReviewer: Tina
The Sound of Glass by Karen White
Published by NAL
Publication Date: May 12th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Women's Fiction
Pages: 432
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four-half-stars

The New York Times bestselling author of A Long Time Gone now explores a Southern family’s buried history, which will change the life of the woman who unearths it, secret by shattering secret.

It has been two years since the death of Merritt Heyward’s husband, Cal, when she receives unexpected news—Cal’s family home in Beaufort, South Carolina, bequeathed by Cal’s reclusive grandmother, now belongs to Merritt.

Charting the course of an uncertain life—and feeling guilt from her husband’s tragic death—Merritt travels from her home in Maine to Beaufort, where the secrets of Cal’s unspoken-of past reside among the pluff mud and jasmine of the ancestral Heyward home on the Bluff. This unknown legacy, now Merritt’s, will change and define her as she navigates her new life—a new life complicated by the arrival of her too young stepmother and ten-year-old half-brother.

Soon, in this house of strangers, Merritt is forced into unraveling the Heyward family past as she faces her own fears and finds the healing she needs in the salt air of the Low Country.

I absolutely adore Southern Women’s Fiction. Although I am not sure what originally got me hooked, I have become a die-hard fan. Any book in this genre will eventually find it’s way not only onto my TBR pile, but also into my heart. The Sound of Glass by Karen White is no exception.

I have many books by Karen White on my Kindle. On exact count, I have twelve. Unfortunately, The Sound of Glass is not one of them. I actually picked this one up on a recent trip to the library.

This book got my attention for several reasons. First of all, the author is Karen White. Nothing left to say about that fact. Then of course it is Southern fiction. Also, being a fan of the author as I am, you can’t help but notice that the majority of her books have gorgeous covers! They pretty much dare you to pull them off the shelf. The deal was sealed when I read the back cover. I knew I would be reading this book before the day was over.

The Sound of Glass is an exquisitely written story of the complex interconnecting lives of a family. It is chocked full of all the drama and raw emotion that you can expect when a vast array of injured and imperfect personalities come together. I found all the characters to be realistically portrayed and highly deserving of the compassion that the reader feels towards them. I finished the book knowing that this would be one that I would remember and recommend.

The Sound of Glass couldn’t be a more perfect title for this book. Just like the sensation of shattering glass, the story is explosive, unexpected and often composed of jagged and sharp edges. It is an exceptional portrayal of a dysfunctional family unit. I was truly affected by this powerful tale.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

four-half-stars

Review: For Better or Worse by Lauren Layne

Posted September 2, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: For Better or Worse by Lauren LayneReviewer: Rowena
For Better or Worse by Lauren Layne
Series: Wedding Belles #2
Also in this series: From This Day Forward, To Have and to Hold, To Love and to Cherish
Published by Pocket Books
Publication Date: August 30th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 368
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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four-half-stars

Will a budding wedding planner and her bad boy neighbor stop banging heads and start hearing wedding bells in the sexy second novel in USA TODAY bestselling author Lauren Layne’s irresistible new series that marries Sex and the City with The Wedding Planner?

When small-town girl Heather Fowler finally gets promoted from assistant to actual wedding planner, she’s determined to make it as one of Manhattan’s elite Wedding Belles. Unfortunately, her first client demands an opulent black-tie affair at the Plaza…in five months’ time. Heather’s days quickly become a flurry of cake tastings, dress-fittings, RSVP cards, and bridal tantrums. But what she’s really losing sleep over is the live music blaring from her playboy neighbor’s apartment all night.

Five years ago, Josh Tanner was an up-and-comer on Wall Street, complete with the penthouse and the migraines. But a grim cancer diagnosis made him realize there is more to life than the corner office. If only he could convince his pretty, workaholic neighbor to let loose, too. As Heather lets down her guard, Josh is surprised when he starts falling for the sweet, vulnerable woman hiding beneath those power suits. Soon, it’s Heather’s turn to convince Josh to take the biggest risk of all: love.

Lauren Layne has cemented herself on my favorites shelf. She has consistently written fantastic contemporary romances that have rocked my socks and For Better or Worse is no different. This book had it all, a steamy romance with characters that warmed my heart and a hot hero who is a complete flirty spice which is seriously my jam.

I have no complaints. Well, just one and that is the book ended. I didn’t want it to end. This was a fast and flirty ride that I loved to pieces.

Heather is and assistant wedding planner with her eyes set on the promotion that is just around the corner. She’s been working toward becoming a wedding planner her entire life and she’s thrilled that the title is within reach. She works for the highly sought after Wedding Belles and her wedding planning firm has just been hired to work on a Kim Kardashian like celebrity’s wedding and Heather has been given the green light to plan her little heart out. Only thing is, the bride doesn’t want to have anything to do with the planning. She’s confused as crap about that and as time goes on, she becomes frustrated as all get out but she’s determine to nail this job because she wants to drop the assistant from her job title.

It’s hard enough to work on a wedding where the bride wants no input and yet wants you to deliver the wedding of a lifetime but when you’ve got a noisy neighbor that keeps you up all night with his constant band practice and loud guests, nerves are going to be shot and Heather’s nerves are definitely shot.

It’s no surprise that she can’t stand her neighbor and her neighbor? He loves that he gets on her nerves. Josh Tanner is living the life. He does what he wants day in and day out, he goes wherever he wants to go and he rocks out with his band whenever he feels like it much to his neighbor’s chagrin. She likes to come banging on his door to tell him to shut up and every time she does, he gets excited. He looks forward to bickering with his neighbor because she’s one hot piece of action that he wants to have…but when the relationship he doesn’t want to have starts becoming more real with each passing day, Josh has to decide if Heather is worth telling all of his secrets to.

There wasn’t much that I didn’t enjoy about this book. I loved Josh. I loved Heather. I loved the Belles and seeing Seth and Brooke again. I loved the bromance that is forming between Josh, Seth and Logan and really, I just love all things Lauren Layne. I’m probably starting to sound like a broken record but hot damn, she writes my kind of romances. The fun and flirty romances that has me happy sighing all over the place. Josh was a great hero and I adored his family and that meddling Mom of his. His whole secret wasn’t hard to figure out but that’s okay because everything else was fan-fricking-tastic.

If you’re looking for a good reading time, pick this one up. It’s my favorite of the series so far. I cannot wait for Logan and Alexis. It needs to be October already. Kudos to Lauren Layne for another home run.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

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four-half-stars